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Abstract

For people suffering from illness or disability poetry can provide a powerful means both of coping and of communicating the ambiguities and inexplicabilities of their condition. Caregivers may find in poems written by patients kinds of information not accessible by means of conventional clinical dialogue, or even by means of narrative. The three poems by women that are featured here illustrate some of the ways poetic techniques and literary devices can be of practical value to both patient and caregiver, and offer all readers ways of imagining illness that could be arrived at in no other way.